This could not be any easier, folks. There are some super tempting, most definitely delicious applesauce recipes out there that have all sorts of ingredients in them, including loads of sugar. Nothing against those applesauce recipes, but a couple of things to remember about unsweetened applesauce:
It’s Fall, so the apples are fresh and naturally sweet and AMAZING! Let the apple flavor be the star ingredient, not added sugar!
When you cook the apples low and slow, they literally melt apart and form into the most magical applesauce ever.
I have a 1-year-old and sometimes the simple, no sugar added option is the best for little bodies (and for big bodies too, really).
I can’t even concentrate anymore because my house smells like I live in a ginormous apple pie…I’m seriously having a brain fart here.
I used McIntosh apples because they’re so naturally sweet. If you use another variety of apples (such as Jonathan or Braeburn), or if the apples aren’t at all sweet for some reason, there’s a chance you MIGHT need a touch of sugar. However, I beg you to try it without the sugar first! You might just be surprised. I mean, I have a SUPER sweet tooth and 9 out of 10 times I don’t need to add sugar. If it needs a little something, try cinnamon first. Sometimes that gives it just the boost it needs to be perfect! Then, if it really does need the sugar, so be it. You can call me liar forever. I accept this possibility as long as you give it a try.
Fun fact about McIntosh apples that I learned from my sister — I guess McIntosh apples make an applesauce with a slightly pinkish tint to it. It makes sense since they turn a little pink once you peel and dice them. So interesting, though! Yeah, I know. I’m a nerd for being fascinated by simple food facts like that.P.S. I heated some of the applesauce up until it was warm and just starting to bubble. I sprinkled some granola on it and ended up with a healthy little dessert. It was so, so satisfying!
P.P.S. Extra credit if you noticed that the apples in the final pictures are Gala, not McIntosh apples, like I used for the applesauce. I got so carried away, I used all the McIntosh apples I had for the applesauce and left none for the pictures. Oops!
splash of water (enough to barely cover the bottom of the pot)
cinnamon, optional, to taste
Peel and dice apples into 1/2" pieces.
Put a splash of water in the bottom of a large pot (enough to barely cover the bottom) along with the apples. Cook on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes. The applesauce should be slightly chunky but tender.
Add cinnamon, if desired, to taste.
Serve warm or chilled. Store in refrigerator.
Makes about 3 cups of applesauce
You can use other kinds of apples to make applesauce, such as Braeburn, Cortland, Jonathan, etc. However, I love how naturally sweet the McIntosh apples are. If you use a variety that is more tart, you may have to add a pinch of sugar.
If you want completely smooth applesauce, use an immersion blender or blender to blend until smooth. Make sure the applesauce is cooled before transferring to a normal blender.
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Spring isn’t necessarily what I would consider “prime” apple season in Michigan. Usually that’s fall with all the apple picking and cider making and apple cider donut eating. Mostly apple cider donut eating. But spring does include pi day (3.14…). Math dorks, are you with me? Okay, FINE. You caught me. 3/14 is technically still winter. But I think pie can be good any season because…well, it’s pie. And pie in my mouth in any season is A-OK.
Apple pie is one of my favorites. And *especially* Dutch apple pie with it’s sweet, crumbly, and crunchy topping. My, OH MY! To be fair, I’d eat pretty much any kind of pie. I can’t really think of a bad one off the top of my head and there are SO MANY choices. Everything from fruit, to chocolate, to savory. Oh wait…Banana cream pie. That’s a pie I’m not so sure about. How can you really be sure with the typically fake banana flavor? UGHH. If I ever find a good banana cream pie recipe I will be sure to share.
I’m going to chat more about apple pie to get my thoughts off of banana cream pie. First of all, apple pie is one of the (in my opinion) most American of pies. 4th of July? Apple pie. Thanksgiving? Apple pie. Memorial Day? Apple pie. Today? Apple pie. You really can’t go wrong and people who don’t like apple pie are few and far between. Second, what can be easier than throwing some sliced apples with a few ingredients you probably already have in your pantry to whip up a scrumptious treat? Done. and. done.
By the way, did you notice my super cool apple slicer above? These things are old school but work like magic. I remember my grandma slicing apples for pies with one of these many years ago. This isn’t the same one but it makes apple slicing and peeling so much fun! You should get your hands on one and try it. Slicing apples will no longer seem tedious!
Dutch Apple Pie
Golden and crispy topping on a scrumptious apple pie
6 cups thinly sliced baking apples (about 6-8 apples)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
For the crumble topping
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unroll the pie crust into pie dish, making sure to push to the bottom of the pan. Pinch the excess dough into the edges and crimp edges, if desired.
Mix the sliced apples, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, lemon juice, and 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon together in a large bowl.
In a small mixing bowl, mix together the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt for the crumble topping. Break apart the butter until it becomes about pea-sized pieces.
Pour the apple mixture into the pie crust. Top with crumble topping.
Bake on bottom rack of the oven until golden brown and bubbly, about 40-45 minutes.
You can choose which kind of apples you want to use but some apples hold up better than others for pie. You can even mix a couple kinds of apples...Granny Smith, Honeycrisps, and Braeburn apples are all great for pie making!
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/